Being Ourselves

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Whatever is in your heart today, be yourself. Be real with God.

Trust God, my friends, and always tell him each one of your concerns. God is our place of safety. (Psalm 62:8, CEV)

Some years ago we each had the privilege of meeting Prince Charles. For months afterwards, Mike was kicking himself for the rather inane replies he gave to the Prince’s questions. He was rather overwhelmed by the occasion, and so (for once in his life) he was at a loss for words. I, on the other hand, (surprisingly for me) was rather more confident.

But when we don’t know someone very well, it’s quite hard to ‘be ourselves’, isn’t it? Once we’ve got to know them, it’s so much easier. And that’s how it is with God. The more we get to know him, the more we can be ourselves and express what’s in our hearts – questions, complaints and all.

God is neither embarrassed nor angered by our questions. He is big enough to take them all on board, and he doesn’t wants us to feel awkward in bringing them to him. Some of the prayers recorded in the Bible may sound quite shocking; but none of them shocked God! God wants the sort of relationship with us where we feel free to bring these sorts of questions – and where we are ready to listen to his answers.

The psalms in particular are full of the whole range of human emotions. Their inclusion in the Bible is God’s assurance that we can be ourselves and be free in what we bring to him. God knows everything we’re thinking anyway; so why try to hide things from him? Some of the varied emotions expressed in the psalms include feelings of: abandonment (Psalm 31), anger (Psalm 109), depression (Psalm 42), desertion by God (Psalm 22), discouragement (Psalm 55), distress (Psalm 102), doubt (Psalm 10), facing old age (Psalm 71), fear (Psalm 27), gratitude (Psalm 116), impatience (Psalm 13), loneliness (Psalm 3), opposition (Psalm 35), persecution (Psalm 7), sadness (Psalm 43), sickness (Psalm 6), sorrow over sin (Psalm 51), stress (Psalm 142), weariness (Psalm 69). There really is a psalm for all seasons!

So, whatever is in your heart today, be yourself and be real with God. Share it with him, exactly like you feel it. And then, be ready to listen to his answer.

I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble. (Psalm 142:2)

Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont

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